I read with bemusement in this week’s online news the attack on our art as exhibitors in the Sawdust Festival. It is especially disturbing when it is artist against artist within a forum dedicated to creative expression.
With similar experience as a reminder to such overt disrespect, unfortunately it is neither uncommon nor a stranger to art.
Take heart, there are others here who see between the stitches and offer up some long-sharpened needles, as metaphoric protection.
As our festivals continue to serve repackaged fries, freshness hasn’t been available for decades. Something “different” portends change and change is often met with resistance. The paucity of courage and imagination staggers the creative mind and stagnates the very places and events that build their reputations on art.
By design or chance, your knitted and stitched tree-cozies are symbols of independent thought, challenging the status quo.
You and your twisted “sisters” offered the public a new way of seeing, perhaps beyond what would be expected in such a homey medium.
How dare you be so bold!
Those charming antimacassars became so much more… wrapped around trees, speaking silently though colorfully for that which cannot.
As such, your concept became the essence of art-making, beyond the medium and frame, bypassing the glossy perfections and rehashed idioms as the focus of discussion and dissention.
Et voila, art!
Without mimic, in your own humble way you create, as Christo and Goldsworthy when walking the copses, stacking rocks, collecting petals, fashioning leaves or wrapping an island…drawing attention to the overlooked. By knitting, crocheting and stitching such soft guardians of trees, you created a metaphor for protecting life while highlighting ignorance and prevailing prejudice; the concept is pure inspiration.
Artists find by thought and hand, grist for their own ingenious mill, one that ultimately inspires others…or, in this case, raises ire in those who perceive a threat.
Seeing what you and your twisted stitchers place around the trees at the Sawdust does much more than elevate overly trodden sawdust, it suggests what is missing… imagination!
Hopefully and carefully, you will stitch together something fresh to delight us again.
Leah Vasquez, Laguna Beach